International Day of Conscientious Objection 2021 

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Burning military papers

Turkey: Prosecution of Conscientious Objectors

(01.03.2021) In the following we would like to give an overview of the current situation of conscientious objectors in Turkey. Furthermore we have added some information on the issue of recognition of asylum applications made by conscientious objectors from Turkey.

Since the early 1990s about 1,000 conscripts have declared their conscientious objection to military service. Hundreds of thousands have evaded military service using other ways or hiding. Several hundred have sought asylum abroad because of facing prosecution.

Turkey: Conscientious Objection Bulletin

November - December 2020

(10.01.2021) We, as the Conscientious Objection Association (VR-DER), aim to documen tthe current situation on the right to conscientious objection in Turkey with this bulletin. The Conscientious Objection Bulletin will be published periodically during the year.
In doing so, we hope to be able to provide the flow of information needed in the field. We hope that we will increase public awareness of the right to conscientious objection with the help of bulletins which will include applications to our Association, new declarations of conscientious objection and up-to-date information on the court cases of conscientious objectors.
If you want to get more information about our monitoring work, you can contact us on our
website, social media accounts and dernek(at)

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Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe urges Turkey to recognize the right of conscientious objection

(04.06.2020) The Deputies 1. recalled that these cases concern the applicants’ repetitive prosecutions and convictions for refusing to carry out compulsory military service as pacifists and conscientious objectors, as a result of which they are compelled to lead clandestine lives amounting to “civil death”, and the absence of a procedure to establish their status as conscientious objectors;

Merve Arkun

Merve Arkun, Turkey: Conscientious objection: anti-war action and rejection of male-dominated codes

Video on YouTube channel Refuse to Kill

(15.05.2020) Hello. I’m Merve. I am one of the female conscientious objectors in Turkey. My justification for clarifying conscientious objection is also directly related to the denial of gender roles and the rejection of male dominance in social life. Unfortunately, the women here feel the full burden of the war in economic, political and social terms, as a result of the fact that the geography we live in is a geography of war. So an act of conscientious objection is both an anti-war action for women and a highly valuable one for the rejection of male-dominated codes within society. (...)

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